Rousing the censor dragon
Two interesting stories relating to the potential suppression of prominent films have recently surfaced. In Tunisia, a TV station is facing prosecution for screening Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s hugely esteemed animation Persepolis. The trial for “insulting sacred values” resumed last week, only to be rapidly postponed. The broadcast on the Nessma TV station provoked significant protests last year.
Nabil Karoui, the station’s director, commented: “I am sorry to be here today. This is a political trial. It is the trial of 10 million Tunisians who dreamed of having a democratic country.”
The trial is shaping up into a measure of the new Tunisian regime’s commitment to openness. Following the firebombing of Karoui’s house, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said: “There is no freedom of the press without respect for the physical integrity of journalists, whatever the differences of opinion.”
Meanwhile, David Fincher has taken the high road following demands from India’s Central Board of Film Certification that he cut some of the more sexually explicit sequences from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The director has chosen to withdraw the film rather than make the cuts.
“Sony Pictures will not be releasing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in India,” the distributor announced. “The censor board has judged the film unsuitable for public viewing in its unaltered form and, while we are committed to maintaining and protecting the vision of the director, we will, as always, respect the guidelines set by the board.”
‘Sacred values’ under attack in Tunisia: Persepolis